The Newsroom

Writer's Note: Reading the following review will undoubtedly spoil the 3rd episode of The Newsroom. However if you have yet to watch it, you deserve to have it spoiled. So there...

Did you expect me to have my review of the third episode of The Newsroom posted by now? Whoopsie! You'll have to excuse me as it took me a few extra days to decide whether it was a mild upset, or a stunning upset that this episode did not feature any "walk and talk" sequences.

The third episode of Aaron Sorkin's latest television adventure takes us through a six month period where we find out that TV news anchor Will McAvoy is no longer "playing the game". He is doing the show that he and his new staff want to put on the air, and they don't care what the suits on the 44th floor have to say about it. This however is causing a little extra bourbon to be poured for Will's direct supervisor, Charlie.

The episode begins with the epitome of what makes Sorkin a great writer. The 6 minutes of straight dialogue by his main character delivering a passionate speech about the way things are going to be. Will takes shots at other networks, his network, his show, and the world in general. However he also points out that from now on his show will be honest, respectful and give you exactly what you need to know without telling you how to feel about it. By the time Will 2.0 is done with his speech you realize that you wish there were more people just like that in the world. Truthful, straight forward, and will give you everything you need with giving a damn how you feel about it.

Throughout the episode we flash back over a 6 month time period and learn how Will and the crew handled some specific events. This is being done as Charlie is in a conference room being questioned relentlessly by the owner of the network, Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda), and her son Reese (Chris Messina).

The flashback episode was a nice call back to the episodes of Sorkin's last venture in television, Studio 60, (I wrote a long post with my thoughts on that show, it can be found here). It was also nice to see that network executives from ACN (the network that airs News Night w/ Will McAvoy), meet in the exact same conference room as those from NBS (the network that aired Studio 60).

Here are a few of my notes from specifics on this episode:

#1- Dev Patel, you are a great actor I really enjoy your talents, however your accent doesn't lend itself to Mr. Sorkin's writing. It's too quick for anyone to actually understand what the hell you are saying. I think we had to rewind this week's show two or three times just to figure out what you said.

#2- Don (Thomas Sadoski) is clearly the most unlikeable character on this show. I can't figure out if this is being done to set up a character turn for him, or just to build up Jim as the nice guy?

#3- Speaking of Jim (John Gallagher Jr.), one of my favorite running subplots of this show is counting the ways that he is exactly the same as Jim Halpert from The Office. If Meg ends up engaged to Don, and then later Jim and Meg end up kissing and breaking the engaged couple up, I'm calling Steve Carell to intervene.

#4- I'm beginning to think that Charlie may have an alcohol problem. I think there are times that Sam Waterson forgets whether or not to act like he is drunk. He may take this on full-time, and I don't mind that one little bit.

#5- The uneasiness of Meg was much easier to handle in this episode in comparison to episode two. She is like an NBA bench player, great in her role for just a few minutes but if you try and extend her into a significant amount of playing time (or in this case screen time) she can't keep up and isn't effective. I'm glad that the writer's listened to my suggestions from last week.

#6- My biggest question from this episode: Is Mac's new boyfriend the same ex-boyfriend that she cheated on Will with? Can someone answer this for me?

After all of my ramblings that I have done about this show, I may need to invest in Neal's "speak and spell" headset. Period.

The Newsroom: The 112th Congress (Season 1, Episode 3)
Sorkin's Walk and Talk Tally thru three episodes: 1 1/2
Directed by: Greg Mottola
Written by: Aaron Sorkin and Gideon Yago
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Would Gene Pick it?: Yes!

1 comment:

Julie said...

No, I think it's a new guy. Would have expected more reaction if it was the 'other man'.

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